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New appointments to drive sporting achievement at Bryanston
In a series of high profile appointments from the world of professional sport, Bryanston is helping to raise the bar for young sportsmen and women. Williams, de Glanville and Sangakkara are the latest names to help talented young athletes fulfil their dreams.
Former junior All-Black and Cardiff Blues back-rower, Nick Williams, has been confirmed as the School’s new Head of Rugby following 16 years at the top of the sport. Former England captain and RFU Council and Board member, Phil De Glanville, and the highly respected former Sri Lanka Test cricketer, Kumar Sangakkara, have also been confirmed as the first two members of Bryanston’s new Sports Advisory Board.
These new appointments follow the arrival of Rory McCann as Bryanston's Director of Sport and coincide with Bryanston’s lead cricket coach, Richard Scott, being appointed as an England and Lions scout. They will also build on the success of Bryanston’s ground-breaking Performance Sports programme and the imminent launch of a specialist rugby 7s programme for all pupils following the school’s ongoing work with former Rugby League professional, Joe Lydon.
Nick Williams retired from professional rugby in 2020 after spending the last four years of his career with Cardiff Blues where he helped to inspire the team to European Challenge Cup success in Bilbao at the end of the 2017/18 season. He began his career in Super Rugby with the Auckland Blues and North Harbour and earned four caps with the Junior All Blacks, prior to moving to Europe where he played for Aironi, Munster and Ulster before joining Cardiff Blues.
Nick Williams commented: “The facilities and coaching set-up at Bryanston are truly world class, and I’m really looking forward to working with the School’s young rugby players. Rugby has been a lifelong passion for me, and the sport has given me so much throughout my career, so I’m delighted to now be in a position where I can help nurture and develop the next generation of talent.
"I know from first-hand experience that sporting success is not just about desire, confidence, and raw skills. Of course, all those qualities are important, but achievement is also about continuous personal development and having the right mindset and attitude to be at the top of your game both on and off the pitch. This ethos for developing rounded and focused sportsmen and women runs through every aspect of Bryanston’s approach to coaching.
"Culture is the cornerstone that nurtures positive and joyful individuals, fuelling players drive to excel in their chosen sport, like rugby. I firmly believe that culture can only be cultivated organically, and this ethos promises an exciting future for rugby at Bryanston.”
Williams’ appointment coincides with the imminent introduction of a new Sports Advisory Board at Bryanston, formed of high-performance leaders from within the world of sport. The new Board will support the School’s ‘sport for all’ ethos and ‘performance pathways’ and will help senior staff and coaches to identify, develop and prepare pupils for a career in high-performance sport.
The first two confirmed members of the new Advisory Board are Phil de Glanville, the former centre and captain in rugby union for Bath and England, and former Sri Lanka cricket captain, Kumar Sangakkara, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest wicket-keeper-batsmen of all time.
Sangakkara is Sri Lanka’s highest run scorer in Test Cricket and the sixth-highest run scorer in the world, playing a total of 134 Test matches, 404 ODI’s and 56 T20’s. He captained Sri Lanka in 81 matches and in 2012 he was named ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as being named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year and Leading Cricketer of the Year. He was the first non-British President of the MCC from 2019-2020 and a member of the MCC’s influential World Cricket Committee since 2012. He is currently the Director of Cricket and Head Coach for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, as well as a broadcaster for SKY Sports.
Phil de Glanville was a one-club man representing and captaining Bath Rugby for 12 years and earned 38 international caps for England, captaining his country on ten occasions. He is currently on the main board of the Rugby Football Union.
Phil de Glanville commented: “As a former pupil at Bryanston myself, I know the school well, so it’s a great feeling to know that I will be supporting the continued development of its enviable heritage and success in sport. With performance pathways and personalised training programmes, Bryanston has a deep-rooted commitment to help talented youngsters excel and thrive in their sport, as well as a ‘sport for all’ philosophy. Such an approach is not restricted to traditional sports such as rugby and netball, but also newer sports with a radical edge such as skateboarding and speed climbing. I am sure other members of the new Advisory Board will share my enthusiasm for adding a dynamic new dimension to the School’s sports strategy.”
Alongside his current role as Bryanston’s Head of Cricket Development, Richard Scott has now also been appointed as an England and Lions scout. The former Head Coach of Middlesex, where he won the County Championship, Scott will now be identifying, monitoring and recommending players for England and Lions squads.
Director of Sport Rory McCann, commented: “Helping pupils succeed in a school setting goes beyond teaching and coaching, especially in sports. It means creating a sense of belonging, where everyone contributes to a team-first mindset to nurture a supportive environment that lets pupils imagine their achievements together. School sport has this unique opportunity to promote positive behaviours in young people and celebrate success, in lots of different forms. I look forward to contributing towards this culture at Bryanston.”
Assistant Director of Sport Beth Rodford (Former GB Rower and double Olympian) commented: “The insight, experience, and dedication of top achievers like Nick, Phil, Kumar, and Joe set a perfect and inspiring example for our aspiring young sportsmen and women. These exciting new appointments will help Bryanston stay ahead of the curve in the provision of personalised programmes for developing the skills, resilience, and performance of all our young athletes.”